Graveyard, The (2006)

The Graveyard (2006)

Fear is buried here…

A group of friends play a game in a cemetery but events spiral out of control and one of them is killed in a tragic accident. After five years, the group decide to head back to the scene of the crime to try and bring some closure to their lives. However someone else gatecrashes the party and is determined to make them pay for what they did years earlier.

 

Another slasher film. Another revenge plot for an accident that happened years earlier. Another guy in a mask killing teenagers. Another group of horny, boozed up assholes and chicks in a remote setting. Another speech by the killer explaining his motives. Another pointless twist at the finale to end on a high. The guys who made The Graveyard have clearly seen way too many slasher films that they actually forgot to make their own film and just borrowed every single cliché from the book.

It’s hard not to be too scathing when reviewing low budget slasher films as there’s simply not enough material in the sub-genre to keep producing original work. A slasher made tomorrow would have 90% of the same material as a slasher made in 1980. However I do like to see people try and do something moderately different with the material, even if it just giving the killer some better weapons, having some of the characters not be ridiculously dumb or just coating everything with as much blood and guts as possible. Unfortunately, The Graveyard doesn’t do any of those things.

Originally the third part of the Bloody Murder series, this has been re-branded for some reason and given a new killer but still kept in the same location – Camp Crystal Pines. It may have been a wiser move to keep the film in with the series because this stand-alone effort isn’t going to win any plaudits soon and at least they could have played off the history of the camp a little more (even though I bet hardly anyone has heard of them anyway). However it does share similarities with the other films – most importantly the fact that they are terrible. The cinematography is very poor, bordering on amateur. There are clearly big bright lights sitting behind every shack or tree in this camp so that pretty much everything is lit up during the night scenes. It’d be ok to have some light filtering into the shots so that the killer stands out a bit more in the chase scenes or to give him that ‘silhouette impact’ when he jumps out on people. But the problem is that it’s way too bright and it’s obviously artificial thus ruining the illusion that this is moonlight. The camp setting is grossly underused because the graveyard, the woods and the boathouse take up a lot of the time. The distance between these locations is never revealed but the characters seem to get from place to place in an instant. And the fact that there is a graveyard next to a summer camp is also a bit unnerving.

These characters are a dumb bunch of people too. They are from the school of “let’s go and investigate that strange noise” or “I’ve just been attacked by the killer so I will run deeper into the woods instead of back to camp where help may be.” Apart from being absurdly dumb, they are all so indistinguishable from each other. You don’t remember any names because the chicks are all sluts and the guys are all assholes. The only one who stands out is the jock who constantly brags about how great he is in bed but I couldn’t even tell you his name. Actually I lied, there are two characters that stand out and the other one is the slut who takes the longest shower on record. The camera just continually lingers up and down her body. It would be half-decent if it wasn’t so damn creepy. The sheriff is also dumb. He picks up one of the characters in the woods, covered in blood and holding a knife. Yet he won’t believe anything he says, locks him up and then doesn’t even bother going back out to check on what happened.

The killer is able to transport himself through place and time to appear at will like all good maniacs do. He kills a guy early on in the film which alerts some of the female characters but then later in the film, it is revealed by the sheriff that the guy was killed before anyone arrived at the camp a couple of days earlier. So what are we to believe? That a) the killer can move through time to kill when he pleases or b) that the director and writers are idiots who make many cock-ups with the script. There’s the obligatory twist at the end when the killer is revealed and then gives us a ranting monologue about why he did it. But given that there are only two survivors and one is the final girl, it’s not rocket science. The whole “why I did it” speech is long-winded and ridiculous – something that would sit more at home in a James Bond film than a slasher flick.

 

Your tolerance for repetition will be put to the test like no other if you decide to watch The Graveyard. It sucks big time and I haven’t even commented on the lesbians that appear from the woods (don’t get your hopes up), the lousy gore effects, the high school acting or the fact that a laptop is how everyone finds out who the killer is! It doesn’t need to be seen to believed, just take my word for it and avoid The Graveyard.

 

 ★★☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆ 

 

 

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